Over the past several months I’ve been deeply burdened to pray for Christians suffering in the country of North Korea. I’m not sure why I have this particular prayer burden but I do. God has burdened me and I pray for these precious saints of God every morning. I pray for those suffering in prison. I ask the Lord to meet their basic needs of food and comfort. I pray for the guards to be kind. I pray for their families; that God will meet their needs and give them the grace they need to live out each day in peace and assurance of faith. I also pray for the Christians in this country to experience a deep sense of the presence of God. I’m praying for a revival there.

As we pray for broad prayers like this, the thought can come to mind of what in the world our simple prayers can really accomplish when praying for people and situations we know little about. After all, we don’t know any of their names. We probably don’t even really know what they’re experiencing. Our prayers can seem so small when faced with such overwhelming huge needs.

You may be familiar with the classic hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy”. It contains a sentence that describes two amazing characteristics of God. “Holy, holy holy, merciful and mighty.”

What an amazing combination these two characteristics are, mercy and might.

I have to tell you, these two traits of God lead me in my prayer life, especially when praying for broad prayer needs.

First of all God is merciful. He cares. He is not unaware of the suffering these people are experiencing. Scripture is filled with verses describing God’s mercy. Here are just a few.

“God will never relent from showing mercy to his children.” (Ps. 23:6)

“God will listen to our pleas for mercy.” (Ps. 30:8)

“Because God is merciful, he has not hidden himself from us.” (Ps. 69:16)

Our God is a merciful God. He cares deeply about the suffering of people. The book of Lamentations chapter 3:22-23 tells us “his compassions never fail. They are new every morning.”

Never forget it was mercy that brought Christ to the cross.

Secondly, God is mighty. He is able. No prayer is ever too big for God to work. You may be praying for a difficult situation, either in your life or in the life of someone you care about. Some of these situations seem impossible. But they’re not, not with our mighty God.

Many would think that praying for people in this far country of North Korea is worthless and impossible. But who is it we’re praying to? We’re not just praying to a mighty creator God who is able to do literally anything.

We’re also praying to a merciful God. He cares about the suffering of people.

One thing I do know, God burdens us for a reason. If you have a burden to pray, pray. Follow through. God has intention to use you and prayer is a major way he will do that.

So keep praying. Pray for people and situations that are close to you, those you’re familiar with.

And pray for those you know little about, those broader and seemingly impossible situations.

Our God is both merciful and almighty. Nothing and no one is beyond his blessed touch.

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